As far as I’m concerned, the perfect way to spend the summer holidays as a true country bumpkin is simple; enjoy many cream teas, visit the seaside in the rain and get involved in the village show!
Having three young children, these village shows are a wonderful way to break up the very long summer holiday. With entries ranging from the classic Victoria Sponge, home grown veg and flowers to limericks,the longest runner bean and the strangest shaped potato, there’s a category for everyone!
For us, the first week of the summer holidays is sourcing the brochures for these events. We were lucky enough to find three village shows within our reach; two of which I am a regular attendee and one new to us in the village my parents live in.
Out of all the entries my children chose, the entries that excited them the most were the ‘Decorated Cupcakes’ for the Damerham Village Show, ‘ Flowers in a Jam Jar ‘ for the Tarrant Launceston Show and the ‘Animals of Breamore ‘ drawing for the Breamore Show at Hulse Hall.
My favourite was the last of these shows at Breamore as my daughter’s love being creative and the drawing challenge was perfect for them. It was a particularly miserable day we took this challenge on; having not had the opportunity to walk around the village of Breamore with the children this summer holidays (a regular past time when I was younger ), we took to books and the internet to show them the local celebrities that are the Breamore Geese.
A full afternoon’s activity of research ensued, with laughter at the practise drawings of very questionable geese and wonderful bonding moments of the girls helping each other. We didn’t mind if they wouldn’t place in the line up of entries. The memories of those lovely hours spent at the kitchen table will never be forgotten!
We were super excited to see that out of the 20+ entries in each of their age groups, both girls came highly commended. There was a particularly lovely moment when they spotted their awards. Both had the same shiny yellow ticket on their drawing and a lovely post-it note comment. They giddily congratulated each other and delighted in the fact that they’d been awarded the same accolade - that joy in itself was worth 10000 first place tickets in my opinion!
The wonderful thing about these village shows is that it’s just pence to enter each class. Around 20p per class per entry (some are free to children). Rainy summer holiday afternoons can be spent drawing, writing poetry, picking flowers and making vegetable animals. My daughters have learnt that the effort they put in will be mirrored in the awards they reap. They have walked away with a few pounds each in prize money, an engraved cup and countless 1st,2nd ,3rd and Highly Commended award certificates decorating their room.
Next summer – or possibly now if your local villages are still hosting, check out the humble village show. Its much more than just competitive crumbles and jam tasting.